It’s been a surprisingly beneficial thing, living alone.
I can come and go as I please. I can do home workouts without fear of someone walking in on me in the middle of an awkward-looking exercise. I can enter my weird little essay-planning mind palace, muttering to myself pacing back and forth as I sort through ideas. I can curl up in the darkness reading my Kindle. When I need to be alone, I can be alone. When I need to be with people, I can search out my friends.
My week has been relatively light homework-wise. That hasn’t stopped me from working ahead, but for the first time all semester, I feel relaxed and at peace.
I feel like I’m right where I need to be. Yes, I’m still looking forward to graduation and saying goodbye to academia. But I’m finally in a place where I can sit back and enjoy my last few months of college.
A friend recently tagged me in a post on Facebook linking to a Huffington Post article titled “An Open Letter From Introverts to Everyone Else“. Although parts of the article were a bit blunt for my taste, I found the list extremely accurate. I definitely encourage you to check out the original, but here is the list with my own comments.
1. Weekdays are Me Days
Unless I have a club meeting (which happens for an hour or so nearly night of the week), you can find me curled up in the apartment wearing my pajamas doing one of the following: pleasure reading, Netflix, pointless Internet browsing, or video games. Gone are the days of hanging out in the evening just for fun. If I don’t have somewhere to be, I’m staying in.
2. If you Call me, Have a Reason
This is less of an issue than it used to be. I used to be afraid of the telephone. I still loathe calling up strangers, be it to arrange a meeting, tell them they’ve been leaving messages for the wrong number on my phone, or solving technology issues. Talking on the phone with people I don’t know is awful. But it’s gotten better.
3. People We Know Better Be There
THIS. Oh my goodness, THIS. There are few things worse than making plans to do something with a friend and, the day of, finding out that a bunch of other people that we don’t know well are going to be there. Unless they’re people I’m super close or comfortable with, I don’t like big groups. Especially when I don’t know them. I’m awkward with small talk, so hanging out with people that I can’t be real with is absolutely terrible.
4. We Are Okay Without a Bajilion Friends
Friends are great. But I don’t like crowds or large groups of people. I would much rather have a few close friends than many shallow ones.
5. We’re Intense
Yes. We Introverts spend a LOT of time in our heads. As a result, when we come out of our own little worlds, we can be a bit much. There are times when I see people who are bubbly, happy-go-lucky, and constantly surrounded by wonderful looking people and wish I was like that. And then I realize I’m WAY too serious. I can be goofy, but generally don’t mess around. I sometimes have trouble connecting with people because I am a fairly deep, intense person. I focus and think about my schoolwork more than the average person I know and I have the Hermione Granger-esque habit of talking through essays point-by-point just because I take pleasure in it.
6. We Don’t Reach Out Well
Look in the middle of the previous paragraph. See the sentence about having trouble connecting with people? Yeah. I’m a senior and have been involved in campus ministry all four years of school. It’s grown a lot and I now no longer know the majority of the people. There are times when I feel like I should go up to people, introduce myself, meet them, and reach out… I mean, I’ve done it in the past and it’s been great! But now? No. Too much work. Too much small talk, too much social interaction.
7. We Like You
Just because I spend a lot of time alone does not mean I don’t like people. I love people. I care very deeply about them. To my extroverted roommate (who might be reading this), it’s not that I don’t love you. I do. Very much! But in the evenings after a busy day, what I need to stay sane is to curl up by myself. I need to enter my own head and rest, unperturbed by the rest of the world.
So there you go! My thoughts on the article, and on being an introvert in general. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve had an extremely busy day and need to go have a Me Party…